How to make the Perfect Roast Chicken - our top tips

12. November 2023

Our top cookery hacks for creating the best roast chicken dinner for Sunday lunch, including how to keep the chicken moist, how to get the skin crispy and how to prepare the roast chicken trimmings.

A traditional roast is still up there in terms of the nation’s favourite meals with a whole chicken being one of the most popular meats, but how do you make the perfect roast chicken dinner? Our guide has some helpful tips for roast dinner success every time.

How do you get crispy roast chicken skin?

To get lovely crispy skin try brining your chicken ahead of roasting. Immerse the chicken in salted water and leave in the fridge for about an hour before rinsing under the tap and patting dry with paper towels. Pop the chicken on a roasting rack to allow the meat to cook more evenly and you’ll get even crispier skin as it not sitting in juices. Check regularly to avoid over-cooking. The juices in the pan will make a wonderful base of a rich meaty gravy.

How do you stop a roast chicken from being dry?

You should remove the chicken from the fridge an hour before you cook it to take the chill off. This allows more even cooking in the oven. You can also slash the chicken legs so that they cook at the same rate as the breasts. Try adding a little stock to the roasting tin and cover it with foil which will part-steam it and prevent it from drying out.

What flavours to add to a roast chicken

  • For subtle flavours, add your favourite herbs mixed with a little butter and pop under the skin or place a bunch of herbs in the body cavity along with onions, cloves of garlic and half a lemon. These flavours will infuse the meat and help keep it moist.
  • Rubs are becoming increasingly popular and are a great addition if you want more flavourful meat. Try a mix of spices and rub under the skin and inside the cavity. Discard the skin after cooking. Indian spices work well i.e. a combination of coriander, cumin, turmeric, cardamom and garam masala. Or try a South East Asian paste mix of ginger, lemon grass, green chillies, Kikkoman soy sauce, coriander and lime juice.
  • For complete convenience brush over Kikkoman Teriyaki Marinade before and during cooking for a reallly delicious golden, crispy skin.
  • Pot roasting is when you cook the meat in a lidded pot with some liquid and vegetables to add flavour and keep the meat moist and succulent.

How to make Crisp Roast Potatoes

Which potatoes are best for roasting? Choose starchy potatoes such as Maris Piper or King Edward. Cut potatoes lengthways and place in a large saucepan of cold water with a dash of Kikkoman soy sauce in place of salt. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 5-7 minutes. Drain potatoes in a colander and dust with flour and coat evenly. You can also add a sprinkling of turmeric or chilli flakes for a spicy twist. Drizzle with a little olive oil.

Place four or five tablespoons of oil or duck fat in a roasting tin and carefully add the potatoes making sure that they are well coated in the fat. Roast for around 40-45 minutes until crisp and golden, turning a few times during cooking. Drain on kitchen paper before serving.

How to make the best Yorkshire Puddings

Traditionally Yorkshire puddings are served with roast beef, but nowadays they are often served with any roast meat because they are so well loved. So getting the right result is key to the success of the meal. Yorkshire puddings are made from a combination of eggs, flour, milk or water. The trick is to ensure the batter is the correct consistency and lump free. Our top tip is to add a little Kikkoman soy sauce to the beaten eggs for extra flavour before adding to the flour. Beat well, then gradually add the milk or water, beating all the time to get a lovely smooth batter. Pop a little oil in each hole of a muffin tray and swirl it around so it coats the sides too. Then heat the tray in the oven. Add the batter when the oil is piping hot then pop them back in the oven to cook through. Don't open the oven door until they are fully cooked and risen, otherwise the air will cool them and they might sink.

Vegetable side dishes for a roast dinner

When you go to the trouble of cooking a hearty roast don’t skimp on the vegetables. Everyone has their own favourite so to cover all tastes it’s best to go with a fairly broad selection. Choose green veg like cabbage, broccoli or kale to marry with a colourful vegetable such as sweetcorn, butternut squash or carrots. The trick is to start cooking the veg when the Yorkshire puddings are in the oven so all the elements are ready at the same time.

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